Are Apps Really Transforming Urban Transportation?Posted on February 19, 2018 in GeneralThis post has been merged with this one. <– So go here!Related Posts Maybe Apps Are Not Transforming the Urban Transport Business Is Microtransit an Actual Idea? Does it Matter if Microtransit is a New Idea?
Apps provide a lot more information than a schedule in a City Hall basement does. Knowledge is power, and apps let people make the correct transportation decision. Maybe theres a bus that runs once every 400 minutes that you’ve never heard of. Well, the app tells you it arrives in 2 minutes, and is going to your destination, so you jump on.
Jarrett, do you use Citymapper?
Speaking from personal anecdote, getting an ‘Uber’ versus calling a cab is more than just an app. It’s also about having a consistent interface nationwide. I don’t need a separate, local app for Portland vs Seattle vs Spokane vs Bend.
If transit agencies nationwide collaborated, created a nationwide “US Transit” app that had all of the current route maps for every city in the US, as well as real-time GPS bus locations for every bus in fleet. If the app calculated the fare and allowed you to pay the local jurisdiction (w/local tax) all from a central hub… that would be innovation in transit with an app. But it would also require a pretty significant investment in transit capital nationwide.
The smartphone, the app, Amazon, Google. These services centralized and prioritized information better than their predecessors to target the user experience. That’s what Uber, Lyft, etc have done and why they appear more popular than regular Taxi service. Uber might not be profitable, but I’ll probably be using it over Taxi until the company goes bankrupt.